International Materials Handling Exhibition in Birmingham, September 2016

International Materials Handling Exhibition in Birmingham, September 2016


The objective of the show is to engage with two main stakeholder groups, to raise the profile of LJMU programmes, research and industry engagement mainly around Maritime and Logistics:

  • Employers-Promotion of Degree apprenticeships
  • Student- Course promotion-Maritime and Logistics for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes as listed in course materials


The stand was shared by LJMU with ST Helens University and Knowsley Community College. The coordination between these organisations meant to increase the impact of Liverpool educational institutes in the exhibit and increase awareness to the apprenticeship, training and licencing programmes provided by LJMU to employers and students, and to the forklift and logistics technical training provided by the Northern Logistics Academy which runs jointly by St Helens College  and Knowsley Community college (KCC). There was also the Anfield stadium’s tour competition that can engage students and industry representative and obtain their contact details.

On the 15th of September, I was the only representative of LJMU and the representative of KCC was Andrew Ellams and Della Thomson that is coordinating between all participants in this stand. The stand was also shared with Unipart Logistics, which is a global logistics provider that works with leading organisations, optimising inventory and end to end supply chain processes.


Several visitors were interested in the LJMU Maritime courses and Logistics apprenticeships and a number of visitors were also interested in the Northern Academy forklift licences and there was also some coordination with other organisations regarding buying or leasing new forklifts for the academy. There was also a number of people that were interested in the competition.


Apart from the LJMU stand, there several interesting stands in halls 8-10. The products that captured my attention were in automated vehicles and products and boxes tracers that are mainly used in warehouses. However, in my opinion, there is a lot of potential in developing these products for port terminals use.  These companies are:

  • SSI Schafer for their product of Automated guided vehicle for flexible internal transport of goods. The vehicle is called Weasel and it runs on a track, which makes its movement limited in a track around the warehouse. The vehicle can carry a maximum weight of 35 Kg, however, it is debated that it can carry extra weight, although this would result in reducing its speed. In my opinion, this could be the solution for InTraDE IAV Prototype developed by the university to be used in port terminals, because it can be guided by operators. By developing the InTraDE IAV to run on a track this would solve many operational problems and it would be accepted by operators.
  • There were similar ideas presented by other companies, such as GEBHARDT that presented several designs for a warehouse automated shuttle that can carry up to 1400 Kg.
  • As for tracing products and boxes, Navisat presented their tracing system for products and boxes in supply chain warehouse environment. It would not just locate a box but it also determine whether the forklift is carrying the right box or not. It can also be used in determine the content of a container and trace the products after shipment using satellite signal.

In my opinion, these products can be redesigned and developed to serve in port terminals. Contact details for these companies were obtained for record.

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